NEWS, NOTES AND TRENDS ON L.A.'S ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

It is eerie how an epiphany can spark a work of art.

Hershey Felder, who is starring in "George Gershwin Alone" at the Tiffany Theater until June 25, had such a moment outside Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp.

Five years ago, he was one of a small group of interviewers sent by Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Foundation to record the memories of survivors of the Polish concentration camp. One of them was Helmuth Spryczer, who as a young Jewish boy had become a gofer for Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous physician who experimented on death camp inmates.

Spryczer kept himself alive by whistling George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and entertaining the Nazis. Felder was moved by the chilling story of survival.

"He was very clever and made himself needed as a messenger, and he could whistle," Felder said. "It is magical."

Three years later, Felder, back in Los Angeles, starred in "Sing!" based on the lives of Spryczer and another survivor. And now he is starring in a one-man show about Gershwin, who died of a brain tumor in 1937 after creating such American classics as "Porgy and Bess" and "An American in Paris."

The 90-minute production is at the Tiffany until June 25 and then will head to Chicago and Broadway. Felder has also been approached by PBS about a possible one-man show.

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So what's the hottest summer movie when it comes to men's fashions?

Would you believe it's the remake of "Shaft" starring Samuel L. Jackson? Designers have lined up to get their threads into the private-eye thriller.

Giorgio Armani even put Jackson in the front row of his fashion show in Milan last January.

But it's not just Armani's leather jacket, suits and sweaters that are among Jackson's 65 wardrobe changes in the film. The remake of "Shaft," based on the 1971 movie starring Richard Roundtree, also uses clothes from such design houses as Gucci, Dries van Noten, Maharishi, Versace, Gianfranco Ferre and Pelle Pelle.

The folks at the American Psychiatric Association aren't too happy with Jim Carrey's latest film, "Me, Myself and Irene," in which the comic plays a schizophrenic who falls in love with a fugitive.

Jim Carrey's new film "Me, Myself & Irene" isn't winning good reviews from the mental health community.

"Seems as if Hollywood has done it again, making big bucks off the backs and broken brains of people with mental illness," John Blamphin, a spokesman for the American Psychiatric Association, wrote in an e-mail to the nation's film critics. "From what I've read, Carrey's depiction of a person with schizophrenia trivializes a severe, crippling, life-wrecking illness with a high incidence of suicide, makes a clown out of a 'schizophrenic,' and is factually wrong."

The film opens June 21. Fox officials declined to comment. Robert Bucksbaum, president of Reel Source Inc., which follows box-office returns, estimates the comedy will generate $130 million, much of that on its opening weekend.

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